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Pentecost as promise of a new life

To fully appreciate the significance of the celebration of Pentecost you need to remember the origins of the Jewish festival of Shavu’ot. Although according to the Book of Leviticus the festival celebrated a week of weeks after Passover (the fifty days) was a...

Ascended to be present

When Jesus is described by the scriptures as ascending into heaven and clouds cover him to hide him from the eyes of the apostles who are standing and watching this spectacle dumbfounded, we are left clinging to a whole series of unhelpful categories to try to deal...

Called and chosen to love

We often struggle with some very basic questions – like who are we? When we meet people for the first time, conversations invariably begin with a process of classification – so, what do you do? Where do you live? The Gospel today takes us to a much deeper...

Connected to Life

Today we hear the final of the seven “I am” declarations that punctuate the Gospel of John – “I am the true vine.” This declaration is also unusual because it is the first time one that is explicitly relational: I am the vine; you are the...

Called to go on exodus to the others

The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is one that has endured across the centuries of the Christian Church. The image of the young Jesus as the shepherd bringing home the stray or wounded lamb has been found on the walls of the catacombs, and a statue of the Good...

Living with a great soul – making sense of repentance

“In the name of Jesus, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations.” The readings this week again invite us to reflect on sin and repentance so that our hearts may burn with love. Jesus the just one, is the sacrifice that...

Believing not unbelieving

Have you ever been asked to do something that was so totally beyond you that couldn’t even believe you would be capable of doing the task? That is exactly how we should feel after hearing the gospel today. When Jesus speaks to the disciples gathered in the upper...

Celebrating the Easter Experience

Entering into the experience of Easter is always a profoundly moving event. I found this year to be no different – even though it was the first time that I have had the chance to lead the liturgies in a parish that I am responsible for which added its own...

Which son of the Father?

The passion narratives that we are presented with each Palm Sunday are so rich, that is a great shame that the imperative of keeping Mass within the hour time limit precludes a suitable reflection. This year I decided that it seemed best once Jesus had died in the...

God proposes a new covenant

“Then, I will be your God. You will be my people.” This line from the declaration in Jeremiah today is so easily passed over – and yet this covenant declaration lies at the heart of the Hebrew scriptures. Our Lenten journey has been examining the...

A God who is rich in mercy

Beginnings and endings are always significant. How you start a story – and how you end a story create so much of the impact of the whole story. We know well how the Bible begins – “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the...

A covenant people at Sinai

One of the great problems with a passage like the Ten Commandments is that we tend to read them with little sense of the context or the who or where of what is happening. Until we do this work, then these commandments, like the rest of the 613 mitzvot (plural of...

Abraham and the bound sacrifice of Isaac

Our first reading from Genesis 22 is often regarded as one of the finest examples of a short story in all or Western literature. In 19 short verses, the reader is taken on a terrible and shocking journey along with Abraham and Isaac – your only son, the son that you...

Wilderness now redeemed

As we move into the new season of Lent accompanied by the Gospel of Mark, the starkness of the presentation of the testing in the wilderness in Mark becomes quickly apparent. Whereas the other synoptic Gospels offer us more detailed descriptions including the fasting,...

Jesus and the isolated leper

Today in the Gospel (Mark 1:40-45Mark 1:40-45English: World English Bible - WEB40 There came to him a leper, begging him, kneeling down to him, and saying to him, “If...
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